The Honolulu Museum of Art is home to the world’s largest collection of art by Utagawa Hiroshige—we own more than 3,000 of his prints, thanks to the late novelist James A. Michener. And these prints are some of the most popular works in the collection. Due to their sensitivity to light, they can’t be permanently on view, to the disappointment of many art fans.
So it’s big news that going on view on Feb. 11 is Hiroshige’s City: From Edo to Tokyo, which includes 44 works from Hiroshige’s famed One Hundred Famous Views of Edo series. What makes this show so interesting is that exhibition curator Stephen Salel, the Robert F. Lange Foundation assistant curator of Japanese art, has chosen to present them alongside contemporary works by lithographer Motoda Hisaharu (b. 1973) and video artist Yoshimura Ayako. In the exhibition, you can see how Tokyo’s visual identity evolved, from marshland to megalopolis.
Salel also created an online version of the show, complete with an index of the artwork, historical insight, programming information, and a virtual tour of the gallery.
“While there’s no way to replace the magical experience of visiting our museum and seeing the artworks in person, we realize that we serve not only O‘ahu, but a worldwide community of patrons,” says Salel. “Websites like this allow us to connect with that extended audience. We hope that by doing so we will be able to generate international interest and understanding that our museum is about great art on a global scale.”
Take this virtual video tour of the exhibition, then come see Hiroshige’s City: From Edo to Tokyo when it’s on view Feb. 11 to Aug. 19.